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Bug of the Month Feb. 2017


Love Bugs &

Bug Love

In a nod to Valentine’s day, Dr. Hector Carcamo and his entomologist friends provided Farming Smarter with some bug love. 

Ladybugs are often called Love Bugs. Photo: Shelley Barkley Alberta Agriculture, Brooks



Rosemarie De Clerck-Floate, PhD. sent over a funny video with great sound effects about ladybug mating behavior 

This is a firefly in daylight captured by Shelley Barkley of Alberta Agriculture at Brooks. Pretty, but sometimes mean in love.

Maybe this year Valentine’s Day isn’t going to be your most joyous day of the year. If that’s the case, maybe you can take heart by reading about the bugs that reflect some less loving behavoir.

Hector tells us that certain female Fireflies promise sex and deliver death! Females of the firefly genus Photuris (they are actually beetles, hence the word fly is together with firefly) are sometimes called femme fatales for a reason. They mimic the light calls of other firefly species so that males show up in romantic mood, just to become a meal!

 Then in the kick you while your down category, there are a bunch of bugs that like to eat Bleeding Hearts.

In case you didn’t know there’s a common garden plant called Bleeding Heart (Dicentra) that has eight species in the genus.

Someone took the Old-fashioned or Common Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis) and bred a new cultivar called ‘Valentine.’ Several species of insects feed on bleeding heart – aphids, caterpillars, gnat larva, slugs, spider mites, thrips and whiteflies. If that’s not enough, there’s a fungus that likes it too!

Valentine Bleeding Heart plant